IS continue to garner support among Sunni tribes in Iraq and Syria. IS released images on the 21 July 2016 claiming to show tribal elders swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in Nineveh province, Northern Iraq.
Mosul is located in Nineveh province, the second largest city in Iraq and under IS control following its capture in June 2014.
This support may be pledged under threat of conflict with IS if they do not, or due to sectarian allegiance given that the majority of forces battling their way North against IS are Shi’a Muslim fighters.
Tribal structures and the important role it plays in many Middle Eastern and African countries is often over looked or under appreciated among Western audiences.
IS seek these tribal allegiances to maintain its local power base, provide fighters to its ranks, provide financial and ideological support.
Previous examples showing tribal support of IS and what happens if they don’t:
- IS media arm Amaq Agency releases video allegedly showing a meeting with the Jubur, Maylat, and Afadilah Tribes hosted by the Bakkarah Tribe east of Raqqa, Syria: